Standard map style contributions

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Standard map style contributions

Daniel Koć
Hi,

We have a lot of tickets waiting for solving in osm-carto (almost 400)
and I'm interested how could we do it effectively.

It's not realistic to expect that the core team would be able to catch
up and that's why we took some care to help other people to contribute.
Most important thing was preparing the Docker environment, which makes
installing and testing a lot easier, but there are also some documents
explaining the inner working of the project and even some very easy
tasks to pick:

https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/labels/good%20first%20issue

However after almost half a year we still don't have too many
contributions from other people and I'm curious what are the main
obstacles which prevent it and what else could we possibly change to
make it easier? There's also more basic question: how many people are
interested in contributing to osm-carto at all?


--
"My method is uncertain/ It's a mess but it's working" [F. Apple]


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Re: Standard map style contributions

James-2
not everyone knows lua scripting might be one of the major herdles

On Dec 28, 2017 5:49 AM, "Daniel Koć" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

We have a lot of tickets waiting for solving in osm-carto (almost 400) and I'm interested how could we do it effectively.

It's not realistic to expect that the core team would be able to catch up and that's why we took some care to help other people to contribute. Most important thing was preparing the Docker environment, which makes installing and testing a lot easier, but there are also some documents explaining the inner working of the project and even some very easy tasks to pick:

https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/labels/good%20first%20issue

However after almost half a year we still don't have too many contributions from other people and I'm curious what are the main obstacles which prevent it and what else could we possibly change to make it easier? There's also more basic question: how many people are interested in contributing to osm-carto at all?


--
"My method is uncertain/ It's a mess but it's working" [F. Apple]


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Re: Standard map style contributions

Daniel Koć
W dniu 28.12.2017 o 14:04, James pisze:
> not everyone knows lua scripting might be one of the major herdles

Is this what keeps you away from the code or there are some other
obstacles? I'm most interested in hearing personal reasons, whatever
they might be.

Fortunately lua scripting is not needed most of the time. For example I
never had to touch it, though I make a lot of changes in osm-carto, so I
would not worry about it.

--
"My method is uncertain/ It's a mess but it's working" [F. Apple]


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Re: Standard map style contributions

James-2
Although the rest seems like CSS or a variation there of the project is big and they may not grasp everything. Proper documentation for me is a major factor, if the project doesnt have documentation(developement not user guides or at least well placed comments) it helps people get into it faster as they know what parts do what vs reading all of the project and guessing what parts do what.

On Dec 28, 2017 8:25 AM, "Daniel Koć" <[hidden email]> wrote:
W dniu 28.12.2017 o 14:04, James pisze:
not everyone knows lua scripting might be one of the major herdles

Is this what keeps you away from the code or there are some other obstacles? I'm most interested in hearing personal reasons, whatever they might be.

Fortunately lua scripting is not needed most of the time. For example I never had to touch it, though I make a lot of changes in osm-carto, so I would not worry about it.

--
"My method is uncertain/ It's a mess but it's working" [F. Apple]


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Re: Standard map style contributions

Mateusz Konieczny-2
If somebody tried contributing and missing documentation was what
stopped him/her - what was missing?

On Thu, 28 Dec 2017 08:34:34 -0500
James <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Although the rest seems like CSS or a variation there of the project
> is big and they may not grasp everything. Proper documentation for me
> is a major factor, if the project doesnt have
> documentation(developement not user guides or at least well placed
> comments) it helps people get into it faster as they know what parts
> do what vs reading all of the project and guessing what parts do what.
>
> On Dec 28, 2017 8:25 AM, "Daniel Koć" <daniel@koć.pl> wrote:
>
> > W dniu 28.12.2017 o 14:04, James pisze:
> >  
> >> not everyone knows lua scripting might be one of the major herdles
> >>  
> >
> > Is this what keeps you away from the code or there are some other
> > obstacles? I'm most interested in hearing personal reasons,
> > whatever they might be.
> >
> > Fortunately lua scripting is not needed most of the time. For
> > example I never had to touch it, though I make a lot of changes in
> > osm-carto, so I would not worry about it.
> >
> > --
> > "My method is uncertain/ It's a mess but it's working" [F. Apple]
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > talk mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk
> >  


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Re: Standard map style contributions

James-2
Lack of time due to real life preoccupations?

On Dec 28, 2017 8:45 AM, "Mateusz Konieczny" <[hidden email]> wrote:
If somebody tried contributing and missing documentation was what
stopped him/her - what was missing?

On Thu, 28 Dec 2017 08:34:34 -0500
James <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Although the rest seems like CSS or a variation there of the project
> is big and they may not grasp everything. Proper documentation for me
> is a major factor, if the project doesnt have
> documentation(developement not user guides or at least well placed
> comments) it helps people get into it faster as they know what parts
> do what vs reading all of the project and guessing what parts do what.
>
> On Dec 28, 2017 8:25 AM, "Daniel Koć" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > W dniu 28.12.2017 o 14:04, James pisze:
> >
> >> not everyone knows lua scripting might be one of the major herdles
> >>
> >
> > Is this what keeps you away from the code or there are some other
> > obstacles? I'm most interested in hearing personal reasons,
> > whatever they might be.
> >
> > Fortunately lua scripting is not needed most of the time. For
> > example I never had to touch it, though I make a lot of changes in
> > osm-carto, so I would not worry about it.
> >
> > --
> > "My method is uncertain/ It's a mess but it's working" [F. Apple]
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > talk mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk
> >


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Re: Standard map style contributions

Daniel Koć
In reply to this post by James-2
W dniu 28.12.2017 o 14:34, James pisze:
> Although the rest seems like CSS or a variation there of the project
> is big and they may not grasp everything. Proper documentation for me
> is a major factor, if the project doesnt have
> documentation(developement not user guides or at least well placed
> comments) it helps people get into it faster as they know what parts
> do what vs reading all of the project and guessing what parts do what.

I've written a general overview on Wiki lately to understand the basic
parts of osm-carto:

https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Standard_tile_layer

Detailed documentation is in the repo, especially in this file:

https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md

However I'm not able to guess what exactly is needed, since I'm involved
in it for too long and because nobody is asking questions about how to
start.

It also depends on how many people are interested at all and what is
their background. For 1-2 persons it'll be easier for me to help
personally case by case (which I'm willing to do), while for 10-20 it
makes sense to develop more documentation or explain some examples in
the diary.

--
"My method is uncertain/ It's a mess but it's working" [F. Apple]


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Re: Standard map style contributions

Andy Townsend
In reply to this post by Daniel Koć
On 28/12/2017 10:45, Daniel Koć wrote:
>
> However after almost half a year we still don't have too many
> contributions from other people and I'm curious what are the main
> obstacles which prevent it and what else could we possibly change to
> make it easier? There's also more basic question: how many people are
> interested in contributing to osm-carto at all?

Speaking entirely personally, the main issue is just
selfishness/laziness.  I don't use the OSM Carto style much myself
(there'd be too much information missing at the zoom levels I typically
use) so I wouldn't get much benefit myself from an accepted change.  In
case it helps anyone who does want to contribute but doesn't quite know
where to start I've added a diary entry
https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/SomeoneElse/diary/43041 that explains
what I needed to do to submit
https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/pull/2966 . There's
actually a surprisingly large amount that needs to be done to support
(in this case) 7 lines of changed code.

I'd also not assume that everyone is familar with CSS.  In addition, the
somewhat arcane way that some of the selections for layers are done in
project.mml is, shall we say, not always that easy to follow.

Another reason why I've not added more pull requests is that in some
cases I don't think that they'd be accepted.  If I offered to "fix" the
main problem described by
https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/issues/765 I'm
pretty sure that it wouldn't be accepted.  As described in
https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/blob/master/CARTOGRAPHY.md 
, OSM Carto has somewhat conflicting goals - both as "an important
feedback mechanism for mappers" and as an "exemplar stylesheet". Any map
style will always be a compromise of course; you can't have "everything
louder than everything else" which is why the requests for some features
to be rendered will be denied (although I suspect that we underestimate
how much more opportunity these is for rendering features at high zoom
levels only).

Another reason is I suspect the "jumping through hoops" needed to get
something accepted.  See for example the discussion on
https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/issues/2355 - it's
clear that there's unlikely to be complete agreement there, and the
result is no solution at all (essentially "perfect is the enemy of good").

With the last two issues it's difficult to know what to suggest - there
has to be an overall style "direction" otherwise you just end up with
something that is a bit of a mess.  Likewise there have to be some
standards, but sometimes I suspect that if the maintainers actually want
to see a fix to a particular problem that they'll need help potential
contributors a bit more.  Obviously the docker info is a step in the
right direction (I've not tried that myself so I can't point to specific
pitfalls there).

Anyway, I hope the above helps (and please understand that it's not
meant as a criticism either of the style or the maintainers - it's just
trying to provide answers to the questions that were asked).

Best Regards,

Andy


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Re: Standard map style contributions

Daniel Koć
W dniu 29.12.2017 o 03:41, Andy Townsend pisze:
> Speaking entirely personally, the main issue is just selfishness/laziness.

I wouldn't name it "laziness" or "selfishness", just lack of motivation
and I understand why - you have enough motivation to develop your own
fork, so it seems to me that you have just different needs (but you
still hint us how do you solve different problems, which is helping).

This is also a kind of problem which is hard to solve, because it's not
clear to me what makes people do anything more than just opening a ticket.

> In case it helps anyone who does want to contribute but doesn't quite
> know where to start I've added a diary entry
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/SomeoneElse/diary/43041 that
> explains what I needed to do to submit
> https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/pull/2966 .

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience! I have added this link to the
OSM Carto Wiki page.

> I'd also not assume that everyone is familar with CSS.  In addition,
> the somewhat arcane way that some of the selections for layers are
> done in project.mml is, shall we say, not always that easy to follow.

Of course, but it doesn't sound to me as a major obstacle. I'm not even
a coder in any language, all I can do is looking for analogies (with
both CSS and SQL parts), testing in Kosmtik and asking if I don't
understand something.

There are many "low-hanging fruits", which don't need any special
skills, just playing with a code and communicating. There is also a
demand for icons for different things and we look for people who can
just use Inkscape, which means no coding at all.

> Another reason why I've not added more pull requests is that in some
> cases I don't think that they'd be accepted.
>
> Another reason is I suspect the "jumping through hoops" needed to get
> something accepted.

> With the last two issues it's difficult to know what to suggest

Yes, it's hard to find a solution for such general issues. I still hope
we could recognize some other problems, which are more "fixable".

> Anyway, I hope the above helps (and please understand that it's not
> meant as a criticism either of the style or the maintainers - it's
> just trying to provide answers to the questions that were asked).

Thanks, Andy - that's exactly the kind of the input I expected: personal
and detailed. I wait to hear more such real stories, even if they ended
up with not even a single line of code.

--
"My method is uncertain/ It's a mess but it's working" [F. Apple]


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Re: Standard map style contributions

Christoph Hormann-2
In reply to this post by Andy Townsend
On Friday 29 December 2017, Andy Townsend wrote:
> [...]  As described in
> https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/blob/master/CARTO
>GRAPHY.md , OSM Carto has somewhat conflicting goals - both as "an
> important feedback mechanism for mappers" and as an "exemplar
> stylesheet".

Note the above document was originally written as the first part of a
longer document that ends with more specific guidelines that were meant
specifically to help contributors to recognize what kind of changes are
desirable and which are not.  The maintainers could not agree on more
specific design principles though which ultimately left this in an
incomplete state that can be used to justify either accepting or
rejecting a very wide range of changes.

https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/pull/2462

> With the last two issues it's difficult to know what to suggest -
> there has to be an overall style "direction" otherwise you just end
> up with something that is a bit of a mess.  Likewise there have to be
> some standards, but sometimes I suspect that if the maintainers
> actually want to see a fix to a particular problem that they'll need
> help potential contributors a bit more.

Actually if there is a need of a shared, overall design direction has
been a subject of quite a bit of debate over the last 1-2 years - see
for example here:

https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/issues/2270

While i agree with you that from my perspective a style direction or
design paradigm is needed for successful development i try to be open
to the possibility that it is not.  How to attract contributors in such
a framework is not something i can provide a competent opinion on
though.

--
Christoph Hormann
http://www.imagico.de/

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Re: Standard map style contributions

Daniel Koć
In reply to this post by Daniel Koć
Hi,

Sorry for resurrecting the old post, but I've just made a list of the
osm-carto issues which are missing the not too complicated coding part
to be rendered - maybe somebody would like to try:

https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/issues/3105


W dniu 28.12.2017 o 11:45, Daniel Koć pisze:

> Hi,
>
> We have a lot of tickets waiting for solving in osm-carto (almost 400)
> and I'm interested how could we do it effectively.
>
> It's not realistic to expect that the core team would be able to catch
> up and that's why we took some care to help other people to
> contribute. Most important thing was preparing the Docker environment,
> which makes installing and testing a lot easier, but there are also
> some documents explaining the inner working of the project and even
> some very easy tasks to pick:
>
> https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/labels/good%20first%20issue 
>
>
> However after almost half a year we still don't have too many
> contributions from other people and I'm curious what are the main
> obstacles which prevent it and what else could we possibly change to
> make it easier? There's also more basic question: how many people are
> interested in contributing to osm-carto at all?
>
>

--
"My method is uncertain/ It's a mess but it's working" [F. Apple]


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